Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Krokhmal, Pavlo

First Committee Member

Krokhmal, Pavlo

Second Committee Member

Garvin, Mona

Third Committee Member

Kusiak, Andrew

Fourth Committee Member

Thomas, Geb

Fifth Committee Member

Chen, Yong


Graph theory is fascinating branch of math. Leonhard Euler introduced the concept of Graph Theory in his paper about the seven bridges of Konigsberg published in 1736. In a nutshell, graph theory is the study of pair-wise relationships between objects. Each object is represented using a vertex and in case of a relationship between a pair of vertices, they will be connected using an edge.

In this dissertation, graph theory is used to study several important combinatorial optimization problems. In chapter 2, we study the multi-dimensional assignment problem using their underlying hypergraphs. It will be shown how the MAP can be represented by a k-partite graph and how any solution to MAP is associated to a k-clique in the respective k-partite graph. Two heuristics are proposed to solve the MAP and computational studies are performed to compare the performance of the proposed methods with exact solutions. On the heels of chapter 3, a new branch-and-bound method is proposed to solve the problem of finding all k-cliques in a k-partite graph. The new method utilizes bitsets as the data-structure to represent graph data. A new pruning method is introduced in BitCLQ, and CPU instructions are used to improve the performance of the branch-and-bound method. BitCLQ gains up to 300% speed up over existing methods. In chapter 4, two new heuristic to solve decomposable cost MAP's are proposed. The proposed heuristic are based on the partitioning of the underlying graph representing the MAP. In the first heuristic method, MAP's are partitioned into several smaller MAP's with the same dimensiality and smaller cardinality. The solution to the original MAP is constructed incrementally, by using the solutions obtained from each of the smaller MAP's. The second heuristic works in the same fashion. But instead of partitioning the graph along the cardinality, graphs are divided into smaller graphs with the same cardinality but smaller dimensionality. The result of each heuristic is then compared with a well-known existing heuristic.

An important problem in graph theory is the maximum clique problem (MCQ). A clique in a graph is defined as a complete subgraph. MCQ problem entails finding the size of the largest clique contained in a graph. General branch-and-bound methods to solve MCQ use graph coloring to find an upper bound on the size of the maximum clique. Recently, a new MAX-SAT based branch-and-bound method for MCQ is proposed that improves the quality of the upper bound obtained from graph coloring. In chapter 5, a branch and bound algorithm is proposed for the maximum clique problem. The proposed method uses bitsets as the data-structure. The result of the computational studies to compare the proposed method with existing methods for MCQ is provided. Chapter 6 contains an application of a graph theory in solving a risk management problem. A new mixed-integer mathematical model to formulate a risk-based network is provided. It will be shown that an optimal solution of the model is a maximal clique in the underlying graph representing the network. The model is then solved using a graph-theoretic approach and the results are compared to CPLEX.


combinatorial optimization, graph theory, maximum clique problem, risk optimization


ix, 115 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 110-115).


Copyright 2013 Seyed Mohammad Shahabeddin Mirghorbani Nokandeh